The big boys are in town for a huge pick-up test.
We lasso three monster American pick-ups for an Aussie initiation. It’s Ford’s F-250 Lariat v GMC’S Sierra Denali 2500 v RAM’S Laramie 2500. Giddy-up!
THERE’S no denying double-cab 4x4 utes have become the default vehicle for families who live an adventurous lifestyle or need a dual-purpose workcum-recreational truck. But popular models like the Hilux, Ranger and Triton have their limitations. If you have more than two teenage kids, the rear seat isn’t going to fit them in comfort, and the angle of the seat-back in some of those popular utes is fairly upright and uncomfortable. The Asian-branded utes aren’t great for towing anything that weighs three tonnes or more, so if you have a large boat or horse float you’d need to go for a large wagon (like the LC 200 or Discovery) or a commercial truck (like the LC79). Even then, the big Cruisers only have the capacity you want if they are equipped with a GMV upgrade and/or a chassis stretch.
The only factory alternatives with the capacity you need are full-sized American pick-up trucks. Made in the millions by the big three US auto manufacturers, these trucks outhaul any readily available option here in Australia – yet they aren’t made in right-hand drive, so car companies here don’t sell them. Thankfully we have a strong aftermarket that recognises the need for such vehicles in this country and who source, import and convert the trucks for Aussie buyers.
We’ve lined up a truck from each of the Big Three – from three different importer/distributors – to get a feel for how well they work on Australian roads. The Ford F-250 Lariat comes to us from Harrison F-trucks; the GMC Denali from Performax; and the RAM Laramie 2500 from American Special Vehicles. All these suppliers have full-volume Australian compliance to sell these trucks. We spent two days with them on the tracks and roads of rural Victoria, and also lived with them for a week in town.